Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Austin Shakespeare has just issued a short-fuse call for auditions, having received news that it will be one of the first regional companies in the country to produce Friedrich Schiller's Mary Stuart in a new adaptation by the poet/playwright Peter Oswald. Performances are scheduled for Feb. 11-28 at the Long Center.
Oswald's version of the classic drama opened in London in 2005. The New York production with the same actresses, Harriet Walter and Janet McTeer, opened in April 2009 and received seven Tony Award nominations.
Ben Brantley's New York Times review commented,
"You can argue all you like, as historians and theologians have for centuries, about which of them has the greater claim to the English throne. But after seeing the terrifically exciting new production of Friedrich Schiller’s Mary Stuart, which opened Sunday night at the Broadhurst Theater, you won’t doubt that both the queens it portrays are born to rule. So, I might add, are the actresses who play them.
. . . Mary Stuart has a fierce timelessness in its depiction of political power games and the roles played — then as now — by charisma, duplicity, self-editing and what has come to be known as spin. It is also one of the most unsettling studies I know of the captivity in which heads of state are condemned to live. (Note to Michelle and Barack Obama: See this immediately.)"
[NYT photo by Sara Krulwich of Harriet Walter as Queen Elizabeth I and Janet McTeer as Mary, Queen of Scots]
Click to view full NYT review.